Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Idaho
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Idaho Project


Effectiveness of Forest Restoration Treatments on Demography of a Federally Listed Ground Squirrel

July 2012 - February 2025


Personnel

Participating Agencies

  • Idaho Department of Fish and Game
  • Idaho Department of Fish & Game
  • US Geological Survey 
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • US Geological Survey
  • Idaho Department of Fish and Game 
  • US Forest Service
Juvenile northern Idaho ground squirrel

Fire suppression over the past century has caused widespread changes to the structure and function of coniferous forests in the western U.S. Forest restoration efforts to reverse these changes must ensure that restoration prescriptions will not adversely impact federally listed species. Northern Idaho Ground Squirrels are federally threatened and have a very small range in central Idaho. We are comparing the effects of 2 forest treatments on Northern Idaho Ground Squirrels : 1) mechanical thinning followed by a fall-season burn (past prescription used by USFS); and 2) no treatment (control). We are using a Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) design with field sampling >5 years prior to treatment and for >4 years post-treatment. The project is a collaboration between USGS Idaho Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The results will help determine whether thinning and fire treatments can be used to improve habitat suitability for Northern Idaho Ground Squirrels.

Research Publications Publication Date
Goldberg, A.R., C. J. Conway, D. E. Biggins, G. Burak, and D. Evans Mack. 2018. Yersinia pestis, fleas, sylvatic plague, and persistence of a federally threatened ground squirrel. The Vector 12(1): 2-7 March 2018
Goldberg, A. R., C. J. Conway, and D. E. Biggins. 2020. Flea sharing among sympatric rodent hosts: implications for potential plague effects on a threatened sciurid. Ecosphere 11(2):e03033. doi: 10.1002/ecs2.3033 February 2020
Goldberg, A. R., C. J. Conway, D. Tank, K. Andrews, D. S. Gour, and L. Waits. 2020. Diet of a rare herbivore based on DNA metabarcoding of feces: selection, seasonality, and survival. Ecology and Evolution 10:7627-7643. doi: 10.1002/ece3.6488 June 2020
Goldberg, A. R., C. J. Conway, D. Evans Mack, and G. Burak. 2020. Winter versus summer habitat selection in a threatened ground squirrel. Journal of Wildlife Management 84:1548–1559. doi: 10.1002/jwmg.21936 August 2020
Allison, A. Z. T., C. J. Conway, and A. R. Goldberg. 2024. Weather influences survival probability in two coexisting mammals directly and indirectly via competitive asymmetry. Ecology 104:e4229. December 2023
Presentations Presentation Date
Vaage, A., K. Townsend, D. Oleyar, C.J. Conway, and K.T. Vierling. 2023. Is cavity presence influenced by certain habitat variables? The Wildlife Society Annual Conference. Louisville, KY. 7 Nov 2023. November 2023
Livingston, A., E. Strand, and C.J. Conway. 2023. No Fire on the Mountain: Has fire suppression caused population declines of an imperiled ground squirrel? Sigma Xi International Forum on Research Excellence. Long Beach, CA. 11 Nov 2023. November 2023
Livingston, A., C.J. Conway, and E. Strand. 2023. No Fire on the Mountain: Has fire suppression caused population declines of an imperiled ground squirrel? Idaho Conference on Undergraduate Research. Virtual. 19 Jul 2023. July 2023
Jackson, C., A. Morris, K.T. Vierling, and C. J. Conway. 2023. What bait do Northern Idaho Ground Squirrels prefer? The Wildlife Society Annual Conference. Louisville, KY. 7 Nov 2023. November 2023
Garrett, M., S. Barbosa, K. R. Andrews, A. Goldberg, P. A. Hohenlohe, C. J. Conway, and L. Waits. 2020. Evaluating genetic diversity and distinctiveness of Northern and Southern Idaho ground squirrel populations using adaptive and neutral loci. Idaho Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Moscow, ID. 11 March 2020. March 2020
Cardenas-Ritzert, E., A. Morris, K.T. Vierling, and C. J. Conway. 2023. Raptor presence at Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel colonies. The Wildlife Society Annual Conference. Louisville, KY. 7 Nov 2023. November 2023
Barbosa, S., K. Andrews, A. Goldberg, D. Singh-Gour, B. Bosworth, P. Hohenlohe, C. J. Conway, and L. Waits. 2019. Landscape genomics of adaptive differentiation in two sister species of Idaho Ground Squirrels. Joint Meeting of The Wildlife Society and the American Fisheries Society, Reno, NV. 1 Oct 2019. October 2019
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Goldberg, Amanda R. Apparent survival, dispersal, and abundance of black-tailed prairie dogs. M.S. thesis, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, 2012. February 2012
Goldberg, A.R. 2018. Diet, disease, and hibernation behavior of northern Idaho ground squirrels. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID. Dec 2018. December 2018